October FOCUS: Hotel Revenue Management

October, 2022

Hotel Revenue Management: Every Square Foot Matters

Traditionally, hotels have employed a room-centric revenue model. The primary focus was on pricing strategies that could generate the most revenue from the sale of rooms. However, the pandemic has forced hoteliers to look beyond room revenue exclusively, and to maximize all available revenue streams. How is this accomplished? By re-imagining the use and function of every square foot of a hotel property, and how revenue is generated from it. For example, some hotels are rethinking their spaces for different uses - offering rooms for private day meetings, or offering suites for private dinners. Other hotels with meeting spaces are moving beyond daytime conferences and events, and figuring out how to book those spaces in the evenings, on holidays and weekends, for such things as exhibitions, workshops, rehearsals and pop-ups. Still other hotels are leasing work spaces or parking spaces to businesses in their local market. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on how some leading hotels are re-inventing their revenue management strategies.

This month's feature articles...

Gary Richards

The current challenge facing most operators is obtaining skilled manpower. We loss sleep over it, and it is an overshadowing effect of how we manage our hotels, and at times how we take initiatives in finding new or past sources of revenues/profits. But there is good news if we challenge ourselves. It can be in re-committing leadership to basic standards. It can also be by the use of technology in lieu of the manpower which is in short supply. READ MORE

Robert  O'Halloran

The evolution of lodging revenue management from the days of a commercial airline tool to its focus on room revenue, to its current status, implies revenue management progression to a total revenue focus. This discussion will review trends in revenue management practices and the changes from a 'rooms only' focus to a total revenue management focus. Revenue management education, learning and decision tools and career pathways will also be discussed. READ MORE

Alexandre Sogno

The pandemic has seen hotel operations come into sharper focus than ever, with a growing move away from RevPAR to revenue per square foot. Every inch of the asset must be made to account for itself and deliver to the bottom line as the operation of hotels is overhauled, reports Alex Sogno, CEO, Global Asset Solutions. READ MORE

Ahmed Mahmoud

Before the COVID-19 crisis, hotel revenue management was largely focused on maximizing room revenue. When COVID-19 hit the global hotel industry, this force hoteliers to come up with many revenue-generating creative ideas to keeping their business afloat from room revenue to renting out equipment, offering outsourced services and using every square foot within the hotel property to generate more revenue. READ MORE

Connor Vanderholm

This article explores the biggest opportunities that modern revenue managers have to impact hotel revenues. It focuses on traditional limited and full-service hotels and applies to both branded and independent properties. Topics discussed include fixing your foundation, ancillary revenues, and digital marketing. It is full of practical tips and plenty of refreshers for those of us who get stuck in the daily groove. READ MORE

Breffni Noone

Many hotels promote discounted add-on bundles during online booking to maximize guest spend. While there are a number of ways to present the discount on a bundle, all are not created equal in terms of their ability to influence purchase. Why is this, and what can you do to frame bundle discounts in a way that will maximize conversion potential? READ MORE

Dario Binnie

Leveraging Revenue Management teams and principles is an under used and critical component of an agile modern hotel strategy. Empowering your revenue team in areas not normally considered their sphere of influence will generate meaningful progression in profitability without hampering long term growth with an encumbered model based on fair-weather fees that alienate our guests. READ MORE

Jennifer Driscoll

An important feature of revenue management today involves melding our contemporary, advanced methods of analyzing and forecasting demand and making decisions on room pricing and availability with insights gleaned from the pandemic. These insights, especially related to guest mix and length of stay preferences, will help guide us as we work through another important RFP season as business travel improves. READ MORE

Blake Madril

It's easy to tell hoteliers to go back to doing what worked in the past, but rules have changed. While travelers are returning to many pre-pandemic behaviors, there are just as many who have had their preferences forever altered. Now is the time to tap into available technology to understand trends impacting guest spending and how hotels can maximize profitability. READ MORE

Jonathan Falik

Revenue management is a constant focus for hotels as it is an essential part of driving both revenue and profitability in a highly competitive environment. The hotel industry has evolved over time and is now driven by data science, algorithms, trained professionals, sophisticated tactics, and strategies. Effective revenue management will often be a major contributor to success. READ MORE

Zach Demuth

In 28-months following the impact of Covid-19, U.S. RevPAR has reached full recovery relative to pre-pandemic levels; however, GOPPAR (gross operating profit per available room) has not. With owners facing rising margin pressures, revenue managers have an opportunity to meaningfully impact the bottom-line by adopting a profit-focused mindset via total hotel revenue optimization. READ MORE

Priya Chandnani

After more than three years since the onset of the pandemic, hotels can now add "weathering the inflation storm" to their list of expectations. In this article, Priya Chandnani, VP of revenue management at Benchmark, Pyramid Luxury & Lifestyle, discusses how technology and standardized performance measurement are crucial to capturing mostly untapped revenue and profit potential, associated with hotels' non-room revenue-generating centers. READ MORE

Mark Davis

Thriving vs. surviving requires pivoting and shifting toward innovative, out of the box thinking, especially with normalcy predictability not within sight. There are no cost cutting controls that will replace evaporated demand over- night. Sometimes consolidation will provide temporary relief, however, creating new revenue streams must be the focus for sustainability. There is no need to create the beautiful Southern California sunsets, or the grand mansion views of the iconic Hollywood Hills…only the idea on how to showcase what already existed. READ MORE

Moneesh Arora

Hoteliers are caught in the middle, trying to optimize revenue performance while facing rapidly escalating operational costs. Workforce operations make up the bulk of these costs and are also artificially capping occupancy in many cases. For any revenue management strategy to succeed in today's climate, hoteliers need to recognize and address the impact that labor costs have on their success. READ MORE

Nicole Dehler

Advances in mobile technology give hotels increased freedom to diversify their revenue streams. Mobile upselling has the potential to reap enormous sums of ancillary revenue, while expanded asset classes allow hotels to capitalize on the emerging trends of remote working and short-term rentals. Soon, Attribute-Based Shopping will create an even more bespoke guest journey while earning additional revenues for hotels. READ MORE

Todd Johnstone

Today's leading hoteliers need to adopt new technology in order to effectively manage and grow their properties' overall revenue and meet their guests' increasing expectations. The traditional approach to technology adoption has been fragmented, disjointed, underwhelming and inefficient. Property owners can tap into property tech partners to unlock the potential of technology with a thoughtful end-to-end process which increases the success factors for owners/operators and the overall guest experience. READ MORE

Shawn Tarter

Since the pandemic, hoteliers search for new ways to engage with guests by providing new experiences and offerings during the stay. Discussing ways ancillary revenues can be captured by hotels, Shawn Tarter outlines new ideas to consider when wanting to enhance the guest experience through extra amenities and how technology plays a role in interactions prior to check-in, during the stay, and after check-out. READ MORE

Rohith Kori

Today's hotels are finding that their guests are changing. While they were seeing a much higher number of business travelers prior to 2020, today they are seeing the advent of the bleisure traveler, and increasing numbers of guests who are more interested in experiential travel. Hotels have the ability to learn more about these guests and their behavior patterns to create new revenue streams beyond the room, and technology is the key to capturing them. READ MORE

Amy Gregory

Amidst on-going impacts to the lodging industry along with changes in consumer and business travelers' behaviors, now may be the perfect time to step back and look beyond traditional measures of RevPAR, ADR, Occupancy and Share as indicators of property success. Incorporating retail sales measures and employing productivity analyses may reveal opportunities to refine and/or repurpose as the industry returns to pre-pandemic levels. READ MORE

Matthew Panosh

Revenue managers should think like options traders. The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent recovery taught hotel operators that average daily rates can be extremely volatile. Revenue-management strategies focused on total guest spend can help mitigate the risk involved in achieving RevPAR share through a high ADR. Management companies need to incorporate techniques and practices to evaluate all possible revenue-generating strategies. READ MORE

Michael Feldman

Sleeping rooms. That pretty much defines the focus of the early days of hotel revenue management. What a difference a few years has made to effectively open up additional revenue streams on property. Today's hotel revenue managers are using creativity, quality data, and advances in technology to maximize additional property revenue streams like spas, golf courses, marina slips and banquet menus. READ MORE

S. Lakshmi Narasimhan

The post pandemic era is seeing key business model elements like revenue management completely reinvented. From a traditional room revenue based model, revenue is now flowing into streams not imagined. Hospitality organizations are vying with each other to offer products and services which are dictated by customers' travel preferences. This has necessitated a sea change in the way hospitality businesses are looking at technology, alliances and the customer experience. READ MORE

Sarah McKevitt

In the wake of the pandemic, how and where employees work has changed. So, too has business travel. As such, hotel revenue managers and sales teams must cater to the shifting needs and habits of business travelers. Data collection and management is critical to understanding customer needs and deploying curated loyalty programs that can enhance guest satisfaction and drive revenue. READ MORE

Randy Shelly

As the hotel industry rebounds and evolves, owners are finding ways to become more efficient and modify their service models. Examining the effectiveness of used-and unused-space and reducing operating costs without sacrificing the guest experience is critical. There is opportunity for owners to view their properties with a new lens that benefits both the guest and the hotel. READ MORE

Andrew Rubinacci

In the wake of the pandemic, many hoteliers who have been through the belt-tightening and all-hands-on-deck emergency status of crisis operations are rethinking the traditional RevPAR approach. Today, optimizing total revenue across the entire property is seen by many hotel owners and operators as both a competitive necessity and a smart way to position themselves in an evolving industry landscape. READ MORE

Coming up in November 2022...

Architecture & Design: Welcome Home

Hotels are still very concerned about adhering to all required sanitation protocols but as the crisis wanes, they are also being relied upon to provide a space to escape and retreat in comfort. To satisfy this need, many new design trends are emerging. One such trend seeks to cultivate an environment that is comparable to the warmth and coziness  a traveler might have in their home. Lobbies are being reconfigured to resemble a family living room. For example, one leading hotel chain provides an off-lobby common area where four separate video game stations and two video games tables are furnished - all free of charge to play. Another trend is to replace traditional business centers with co-working spaces  where the lines between working and social interaction are often blurred. Finally, recognizing the impact of social media, hotels are designing specific areas to facilitate picture perfect moments (think Instagram). These are just some of the architecture and design subjects that will be covered in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.